Immigrant seniors to be denied equal access
Right now, the House of Commons and a committee of the Senate are reviewing a federal government Bill that will deprive elderly immigrants of equal access to benefits that are intended to ensure that seniors in Canada don’t have to live in poverty.
Bill C-31 will change the Old Age Security system so that seniors who were sponsored to come to Canada by their family members will have to wait up to 10 years more than other Canadian residents to get benefits that they’re currently eligible to receive.
This change will mean many more seniors in Canada will have to live in poverty.
ISAC has just made a submission to the Senate’s Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology urging them to reject the changes to the Old Age Security Act.
People who sponsor their relatives have to provide for them financially for a period of time. But we all know that a person’s economic situation can change in the blink of an eye.
Unemployment or illness can mean that people who were previously able to provide for their family members are no longer able to do so.
And the quality of jobs is declining, so that even if people are working, they may still be living in poverty.
We also know that people who have immigrated to Canada face more barriers to getting good jobs than those who were born here.
People who have been sponsored by their family members should not be treated differently than other Canadian residents. All seniors who face poverty require and deserve access to income supports.